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Jun 21, 2007 07:26 AM

Poutine in Chicago?

As a transplanted Canadian, I miss my poutine! Has anyone seen it on any local menus?
Much thanks!

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  1. They are on the menu at Pizzeria Aroma but I have never had it.

    Pizzeria Aroma is on Berywn - steps away from the Red Line stop

    1. Make your own.. you know how.

      Fries from McDonald's, gravy from KFC, cheese curds from the farmers market or grocery store. Assemble.

      2 Replies
      1. re: gleam

        I can't answer your question. However, I work with a woman from Quebec who is adamant that it is nearly impossible to get authentic poutine anywhere outside of La Belle Province. The reason? The cheese curds must be fresh and unrefrigerated. As soon as they go into a fridge, blammo, they're ruined and no good for poutine. Or so she tells me.

        1. re: anewton

          No offense to the Quebecoisse, but that's nonsense. Poutine is poutine, coast to coast. You can find incredibly fantastic poutine in Calgary and horrible poutine in Val D'or. You cannot, however, find poutine in Chicago. That's what you get for emigrating, bud.

      2. Around these parts we call 'em cheddar fries (or cheese fries). The Wiener Circle on Clark Street does a great redention served with a side of attitude! I like mine with a dash of celery salt and a few sport peppers....

        2 Replies
        1. re: Vinny Barbaresco

          Cheese fries that I've had around Chicago have always been with some cheesey sauce, not real cheese CURDS, like poutine requires. And I've never seen them here with gravy on top (poutine-style) as well. Chili, of course. But gravy?

          1. re: Vinny Barbaresco

            celery salt on fries? that sounds delicious. with a cold beer...yumm...

          2. Having just returned from Montreal, I can assure you that there is nowhere in the Chicagoland area that serves up this dish. Sorry!

            The best thing I can think of is go to any Culvers , they sell fresh dairy curds and French fries, and the dinners have mashed potatoes and gravy (maybe they will sell you a just a cup of gravy), and then self assemble...

            Oh yeah one more thing, here's a link to what’s the real thing, recipes, and recommendations for Montreal (which I used) including the history of the dish:

            1. Hi,
              I am not sure about anyone else, but "I" don't call poutine, cheese fries. I have never had poutine, but slopping some squeeze cheese on fries, does not a poutine make.
              Sorry, I have no other suggestions..
              I hijacked this from another board.
              Scroll down to Jan 5 2006.

              Hello! Someone directed me to this thread from another board. I am also a Canadian living in Chicago. Born in Montreal.

              Your best bet to get authentic poutine in in Chicago is to do this:

              -Buy a deep frier (skip buying the frozen fries, it isn't the same)
              -Go to Mars Cheese Castle in Kenosha, WI and buy white cheese curds (this is also a must, unless you want to make NYC Disco fries (with regular melted mozzerella cheese, which aren't the same)
              -Go to jewel and buy a 5lb bag of russet potatoes, 4 packets of Jewel brand powdered chicken gravy, 32oz. Kitchen Basics brand chicken stock, and a gallon or so of peanut oil.

              step 1 - wash potatoes and cut potatoes into fries

              step 2 - start cooking the fries like this website tells you to:
              (salt the fries while they're still hot after the second round in the frier)

              step 3 - mix the powdered gravy with the stock in a pot and bring to a bare simmer. Let it reduce some.

              step 4 - put hot fries in a bowl, top with cheese curds and then add the gravy to slightly melt the curds.


              I did this last weekend and it's the best poutine I've had since moving from Montreal.

              3 Replies
              1. re: louweezy

                They do sell cheese curds at the Farmer Market at the Federal Plaza. I can't buy them because I would eat the bag in one setting but they are the real deal. Perhaps poutine can be made without a trip to Wisconsin

                1. re: lbs

                  Whole Foods (North Ave) has started selling decent curds.

                  1. re: jonk

                    EDIT - stopped by Whole Foods today, the newest (to claim freshest would be an abomination) curds they had were packaged June 17, there was also a batch that was a couple weeks older. Why bother?